Jury: No punishment for ex-Navy QB acquitted of rape

WASHINGTON -- A military jury recommended no punishment
Friday for a former U.S. Naval Academy quarterback who was
acquitted of raping a female midshipman but convicted on lesser
charges of conduct unbecoming an officer and disobeying a lawful

Lamar S. Owens Jr.' mother burst into tears, and his father
leaned over a dividing wall and hugged him as the jury's decision
was read. Prosecutors had recommended a two-year sentence for the
22-year-old from Savannah, Ga., for conduct unbecoming.

Owens' status as a midshipman at the academy, where he had been
prepared to graduate, was referred to academy superintendent Vice
Admiral Rodney Rempt.

The five Naval Academy officers that served as the jury found
Thursday that Owens had consensual sex with a junior midshipman in
her room at the academy Jan. 29, but they found that Owens was not
guilty of rape. His accuser had claimed Owens entered her room
uninvited and raped her after she blacked out.

Both Owens and his accuser testified that they had several
drinks at separate locations in the hours before their early
morning encounter.

Owens testified that the sexual encounter was consensual, that
the woman had asked him to come to her room and then tugged on his
sweater to get him into bed.

"The sex was very quick and there wasn't a lot of romance," he testified.

His accuser testified that she repeatedly rejected his advances.

Earlier Friday, Owens told the court he hoped to remain in the

"I still want to be a Naval officer," Owens told the officers
at his court martial. "I deeply regret the unwanted attention that
I brought to the Naval Academy."

Owens led Navy's football team to an 8-4 record last season that
included victories over military academy rivals Air Force and Army
and a victory in the Poinsettia Bowl over Colorado State. He was
not allowed to graduate with his classmates.